Russian troops plans exposed by Ukrainian MP
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Russian troops are poised just 15 km (nine miles) north of Sloviansk, the second biggest Ukrainian-controlled city in Donetsk region, said Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. Seizing the regions of Donetsk and neighbouring Luhansk is a key Russian military objective. While Russia is close to capturing full control of Luhansk region, just under 50 percent of Donetsk region still remains in Ukrainian hands, Kyrylenko said, a sign of how far Russia is from achieving its aim of controlling all the lands known as the Donbas. Ukrainian MP Sviatoslav Yurash explained how Ukraine will continue to fight.
Mr Yurash told Times Radio: “We have shown that we capable and we are very much able to defend not just Donbas but every part of Ukraine.
“We’ll continue basically in terms of defences and in terms of counter-defence.
“The Russians are trying to shell the areas without engaging in street fighting to try and push our forces out with artillery.
“And to surround Severodonesk to cut off the supply lines to those embattled cities and battled areas.”
The 100,000 remaining residents in Mariupol, 70 percent of whom are pensioners, do not have working gas, water, electricity or sewage systems, he said.
Of the city’s 2,600 apartment blocks, he estimated that 1,300 had been levelled.
Russia denies targeting civilians.
It calls its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation”.
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The Donbas has been at war since 2014 when Russia backed a pro-Moscow insurgency that carved out a swathe of territory in a conflict that killed thousands.
Kyrylenko’s own personal story shows the complexity of the war for many Ukrainians in the area.
He said his parents and elder brother chose in 2014 to stay in the part of Donetsk region that was captured by Russia-backed separatists who are now fighting alongside Russia against Ukraine.
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While he said this family circumstance does not affect his work, he called the situation a “serious tribulation” on a personal level.
“Our views are completely different, I do not speak to them, but I say this frankly: I have nothing to say to (them).”
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